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Julius Heinrich Petermann

Julius Heinrich Petermann German Orientalist

German Orientalist
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro German Orientalist
A.K.A. Julius Heinrich Petermann
Countries Germany
Occupations Orientalist Armenologist Professor Educator
Type Academia Social science
Gender male
Birth 12 August 1801 (Glauchau)
Death 10 June 1876 (Bad Nauheim)
Star sign LeoLeo
The details

Julius Heinrich Petermann (born August 12, 1801 in Glauchau; died June 10, 1876 in Bad Nauheim) was a German Orientalist.


In 1829, Petermann received his PhD in Berlin for a dissertation on the Targum Jonathan of the Pentateuch. Between 1830 and 1837, he was first a lecturer, then from 1837 an associate professor of Oriental philology at the University of Berlin. Between 1852 and 1855, Johann Gottfried Wetzstein, the German consul in Damascus, and the Prussian king sponsored his travel to Syria, Mesopotamia and Persia. From 1868 to 1869, he was consul in Jerusalem. He learned Armenian from the Mekhitarist Father Eduard on the island of San Lazzaro, which is part of Venice. In his Grammatica Linguae Armeniacae he offers proof that Armenian is an Indo-European language. In 1851, he wrote about the Armenian culture and music and in 1866 about their history. Petermann was interested in religious minorities such as the Samaritans, Druze, Mandaean, Yazidis, Parsees and Ahl-i Haqq. Information on these groups is found in his two-volume travelogue Journeys in the Orient. His research on the Samaritans and the Mandaeans was pioneering. He learned the Samaritan pronunciation from a Samaritan priest of Hebrew tradition in Nablus. He began his writings on these ethnic groups with a critical edition of the Samaritan Pentateuch, which comprised the first two volumes. Volumes 3 to 5 were released by Karl Vollers. Petermann published the first edition and Latin translation of two Mandaean writings, Ginza and Sidra Rabba respectively, ("The Treasure", "The Great Directory") in his Thesaurus sive liber magnus. He obtained a total of two collections of oriental manuscripts from 1532 for the Royal Library in Berlin. In 1840, he founded a series of concise textbooks, Porta linguarum Orientalium, on oriental languages, each with an anthology. In this series he published books on Arabic, Syriac, Armenian, Hebrew and Samaritan. Petermann was a member of the Berlin Masonic Lodge, Friedrich Wilhelm zur gekrönten Gerechtigkeit.


  • Grammatica linguae armenicae (1837 ) Berlin
  • De Ostikanis, Arabicis Armeniae gubernatoribus , Berlin 1840
  • Contributions to a history of the latest reforms of the Ottoman Empire, German and Turkish (with Ramiz Efendi), Berlin 1842
  • Epistola ad Philemonem speciminis loco ad fidem versionum Orientalium veterum , Berlin 1844
  • Pater Ignatii Patris Apostolici quae feruntur Epistolae , Leipzig 1849
  • Pistis Sophia: opus gnosticum (1851)
  • Contributions to the history of the Crusades from Armenian sources, Berlin 1860
  • Journeys in the Orient first edition. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1860 and 1861
  • Journeys in the Orient, 2nd edition, Leipzig 1865
  • Thesaurus sive liber magnus liber vulgo Adami appellatus, 2 parts, Leipzig, 1867 (Syriac and Latin)
  • Attempt at a Hebraic morphology based on the Speech of Present-day Samaritans 1868
  • Pentateuchus Samaritanus, 5 vols. Berlin, 1872–91.
  • Porta linguarum Orientalium (Editor) Vol. 1–4, 6, Berlin
    • Brevis linguae hebraicae 1864
    • Brevis linguae arabicae 1867
    • Brevis linguae armenicae 1872
    • Brevis linguae chaldaicae 1872
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